Local residents who have been impacted by cancer will join forces to raise funds for cancer research this weekend at the American Cancer Society’s 2016 Ponte Vedra Relay for Life.
To be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Ponte Vedra High School, the event will feature 13 fundraising relay teams that will take turns walking laps to support cancer research, treatment and prevention.
“Typically, each separate Relay has a theme,” said Lynn Nelson, lead organizer for the Ponte Vedra event. “We chose golf as our theme for this year’s Relay because we thought it would be a good tie in to the community. There will be some golf components to our event, but it will still be a walking event.”
Noting that there are more than 20 Relay for Life events happening on the First Coast this year, Nelson said Saturday’s Ponte Vedra event will feature a full day of activities. Opening ceremonies will be followed by a “survivor’s lap” and luncheon honoring those who have won the victory over cancer. Numerous sports clinics will be held throughout the day, along with a wide range of entertainment. In addition to a dance team from Atlantic Coast Dance Studio, performances will include the Sahara Silk belly dancers, Mr. Relay, the Chuck Kesslar Band and Nease High School’s Talking Hands signing to music. From 5 to 8 p.m., the event’s main stage will feature New York City-based singer-songwriter Caitlin Mahoney, Florida-based musician Nicholas Roberts and Ben Rowan, an ESE/autism site coach who also coaches swimming, diving and girls’ lacrosse at Atlantic Coast High School.
In addition to Nelson, the Ponte Vedra Relay for Life’s all-volunteer leadership team includes Bob McKeefrey, Tom Mahoney and Nick Athanaseas. Event sponsors and partners include Silver Sponsor Sterling Newton and Bronze Sponsors Vblox, Medcruiters, Village Key, SunTrust and Hilton Garden Inn.
Held in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries, Relay for Life events raise more than $400 million each year. In addition to funding cancer research, proceeds help provide free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers.